Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hereward Fenton: Open Letter to Robert Fisk re 911 Conspiracy or 911 Truth

For some eye-opening (to many) evidence click on the Read More link below. --R

Open Letter To Robert Fisk
by Hereward Fenton
911oz Robert Fisk

Dear Mr. Fisk,

I found your recent article published in The Independent on 25th August 2007, very interesting indeed.

It is a welcome change that a highly respected journalist as yourself, described by the New York Times as "probably the most famous foreign correspondent in Britain", finally has some "questions". Great! However, there are some insinuations in your article that suggest you have not informed yourself about the wealth of factual, undisputed evidence that is available in support of the 9/11 Truth position, while at the same time you have introduced new “evidence” which on the face of it seems rather ill-considered, and for which you provide no references.

Firstly, however, I want to point out that the tone of this article is very self-serving and insulting to many who have been researching this subject for years. These people you call "ravers", are in reality people like me who got fed up with the stone-walling of mainstream media on the most important single issue of our time. This is enough to make anyone with a conscience angry. I am angry, and you should be angry too. Anger is warranted here.

You said:

“Usually, I have tried to tell the ‘truth’; that while there are unanswered questions about 9/11, I am the Middle East correspondent of The Independent, not the conspiracy correspondent; that I have quite enough real plots on my hands in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Iran, the Gulf, etc, to worry about imaginary ones in Manhattan.”

Mr. Fisk, nobody wants to be a “conspiracy theorist”! We are driven to this by conscience, and because we see that if we don’t speak up that the tyrants will simply have their way unopposed. Ultimatey, we speak out because we know that if the crimes of 9/11 are allowed then our liberal democratic way of life is over, and we would be fools to expect to be safe from the murderous cabal which is pulling the strings of world governments.

Read More:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Nir Rosen: Iraq Does Not Exist Anymore

Nir Rosen appeared on Democracy Now (8.21.07. Truthout conveniently reprinted the transcript and they link to the original on their page.
Nir Rosen makes a very powerful must read statement. The one question that is only hinted out and can be figured out between the lines is that to what extent is the present situation a deliberate outcome of U.S. policymakers.

"Iraq Does Not Exist Anymore"

Tuesday 21 August 2007

Journalist Nir Rosen on how the US invasion of Iraq has led to ethnic cleansing, a worsening refugee crisis and the destabilization of the Middle East.

Amy Goodman: Nir Rosen is an independent journalist and the author of "In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq." He is a fellow at the New America Foundation and has reported extensively from Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003.

Earlier this year, Nir Rosen wrote a piece, a cover story for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, called "The Flight from Iraq." He estimated up to 50,000 Iraqis were leaving their homes each month.

Nir Rosen joins us now from our firehouse studio here in New York, just returned from Beirut on Sunday night. Welcome to Democracy Now!

Nir Rosen: Thank you.

Amy Goodman: Can you talk further about the refugee crisis? Again, lay out the numbers that we're talking about inside Iraq and outside.

Nir Rosen: Outside Iraq, we're approaching three million refugees who have left since 2003. There were, of course, refugees who left before then, due to Saddam and other factors.

Inside, I think you have a similar number of internally displaced Iraqis fleeing their homes in mixed areas and going to more homogenous areas. Sunnis from Basra are heading to Sunni neighborhoods, Baghdad, or all the way up to Kurdistan. Shias from Diyala province are going to safer areas for Shias. Kurds from Mosul going up to Kurdistan, as well.

And a family like the one we just saw on the show is never going to go back to their home again, actually, it seems.

Amy Goodman: Why?

Nir Rosen: Iraq has been changed irrevocably, I think. I don't think Iraq even - you can say it exists anymore. There has been a very effective, systematic ethnic cleansing of Sunnis from Baghdad, of Shias - from areas that are now mostly Shia. But the Sunnis especially have been a target, as have mixed families like the one we just saw. With a name like Omar, he's distinctly Sunni - it's a very Sunni name. You can be executed for having the name Omar alone. And Baghdad is now firmly in the hands of sectarian Shiite militias, and they're never going to let it go.

Amy Goodman: What do you think of Senator Levin calling for the Maliki and the whole government to disband?

Nir Rosen: Well, it's stupid for several reasons. First of all, the Iraqi government doesn't matter. It has no power. And it doesn't matter who you put in there. He's not going to have any power. Baghdad doesn't really matter, except for Baghdad. Baghdad used to be the most important city in Iraq, and whoever controlled Baghdad controlled Iraq. These days, you have a collection of city states: Mosul, Basra, Baghdad, Kirkuk, Irbil, Sulaymaniyah. Each one is virtually independent, and they have their own warlords and their own militias. And what happens in Baghdad makes no difference. So that's the first point.

Second of all, who can he put in instead? What does he think he's going to put in? Allawi or some secular candidate? There was a democratic election, and the majority of Iraqis selected the sectarian Shiite group Dawa, Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution, the Sadr Movement. These are movements that are popular among the majority of Shias, who are the majority of Iraq. So it doesn't matter who you put in there. And people in the Green Zone have never had any power. Americans, whether in the government or journalists, have been focused on the Green Zone from the beginning of the war, and it's never really mattered. It's been who has power on the street, the various different militias, depending on where you are - Sunni, Shia, tribal, religious, criminal. So it just reflects the same misunderstanding of Iraqi politics. The government doesn't do anything, doesn't provide any services, whether security, electricity, health or otherwise. Various militias control various ministries, and they use it as their fiefdoms. Ministries attack other ministries

Amy Goodman: Which is the most powerful militia?

Nir Rosen: Well, the various Shia ones, such as the Mahdi Army, the Badr Corps, the police, the Iraqi police, the Iraqi army. Of course, the American army is also another militia, and it's a very powerful militia in Iraq - maybe not the most powerful. But the Mahdi Army basically controls the police and the Iraqi army. Of course, in the north the police are more in the hands of various Kurdish militias, and the army is in the hands of Kurdish militias. So it sort of depends where you are.

Amy Goodman: We're going to break. When we come back, we are going to talk more about the refugees throughout the Middle East. There are not many here in this country. We're talking to Nir Rosen, independent journalist, author of In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq. Stay with us.

Amy Goodman: We're talking to Nir Rosen, independent journalist, author of In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq, a fellow at the New America Foundation, has reported extensively from Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003, most recently has just returned from Beirut, actually on Sunday night, and has particularly focused on refugees. His piece in the New York Times is called "The Flight from Iraq."

Talk about why people go to different countries, why Iraqis go in this - you're saying up to three million Iraqis out of a population of what? Some 27 million?

Nir Rosen: Twenty-six, twenty-seven, originally, yeah. Nobody knows for sure.

Amy Goodman: More than - so, close to 10%.

Nir Rosen: Yes, and, of course, up to a million have died -

Amy Goodman: More than 10%

Nir Rosen: - since the occupation began. Well, there are various factors for why they choose different countries. Access is one of them. Syria is the most open and generous of all the countries in the region. They basically take anybody who comes in. And for a long time, they were giving them free healthcare, and they still provide free education. Well, they've been - they are being overburdened, as well, because the Syrian government subsidizes things such as bread. So every loaf of bread an Iraqi buys is actually being paid for in part by the Syrian government. As a result, they're finding it more and more difficult to bear the cost.

The Jordanians basically closed their borders by the end of 2005, in part because they were being overburdened, and they also have demographic issues to worry about. Half of the small Jordanian population are Palestinian, and now you've introduced another million Iraqis. And this is a very fragile regime in the first place, the Jordanian dictatorship.

Amy Goodman: What does each country gain by letting in Iraqi refugees?

Nir Rosen: Well, Jordan took in initially many of the wealthier ones, as did Egypt, and so they certainly gained a great deal of money and investment, and they required for residency a certain amount of money in the bank. But Jordan was a less friendly environment for Shias. Syria, again, is the most friendly environment for really any Iraqi; Shias, Sunnis, Christians each find welcoming neighborhoods there. Lebanon, very difficult to get to, and there's a likelihood of being expelled by the Lebanese government, but Christian Iraqis have found that the Christians of Lebanon have been generous in protecting them. Shia Iraqis have tended to go into the Shia neighborhoods of Beirut. Egypt closed its borders more or less after about 150,000 Iraqis came in, mostly Sunni. The majority of the Iraqi Arab refugees are Sunnis, despite the fact that Sunnis are a minority in Iraq. And Sweden has taken in, I think, 40,000 or 50,000, as well. They've been quite generous. As you've said, we took in about 700, which is a laughable amount.

Amy Goodman: What are the politics of this, given that the US said they went into Iraq to save the people of Iraq, only allowing in 700 here?

Nir Rosen: Well, there are various reasons for why they won't take them in. I think the fact that they're Arab and Muslim is probably one of them. The main factor is probably that if you take any refugees, you're admitting that your whole program in Iraq is a failure. If Iraq is exporting refugees, people are fleeing Iraq for their lives, then everything we've done is a failure, which indeed it is, of course, failure.

And there are also security reasons. Homeland Security Department is finding it difficult to screen the Iraqis and difficult to even send their people to various embassies to initiate the screening process. That's taken a painfully long time logistically.

Amy Goodman: Why can't they screen them?

Nir Rosen: I think it's just incompetence and sort of a lack of interest. And one of the factors that prevents Iraqis from getting visas, for example, if you've paid a ransom. Many Iraqis, virtually every family I know of, have been victims of kidnapping. If you pay a ransom to release your relative from kidnapping, according to the US government, you have materially supported terrorism, and therefore you can be prevented from obtaining a visa to the US.

Amy Goodman: If you've paid any kind of ransom?

Nir Rosen: Yes.

Amy Goodman: Governments have paid ransoms, like the Italian government, for people to be released from Iraq.

Nir Rosen: Yes, I'm sure the US government has, as well, but this has been an obstacle for Iraqis. And in general, there's an aversion, it seems, on the part of America to take in Arabs or Muslims, and Iraqis, in particular. I think Christians have a much better time, Iraqi Christians, as informally the West, whether Australia, England, America, are more likely to take in Christians and are more interested in their plight. I think there's also stronger interest groups in the West, in Canada and the US, who are active on behalf of the Iraqi Christians.

Amy Goodman: What does it do to the politics of a country, to Syria, to Jordan, to Lebanon, having the Iraqi refugees come in? And then, I want to broaden that to: what is the effect of the war on these countries?

Nir Rosen: Well, when we think of the Iraqi refugee crisis, we have to think of the crisis that people in the region think of in relation to that one, and that's the Palestinian refugee crisis. In 1948, up to 800,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes in Palestine to make way for what became Israel. They went to Lebanon, Syria, Jordan. There were put in refugee camps. Eventually, after a few years, they were militarized, mobilized. They had their own militias. They were engaged in attacks, trying to liberate their homes. And they eventually were instrumentalized by the various governments, whether Lebanon, Syria, Jordan. Different groups used them. And they were massacred, as well, by the Lebanese, by the Jordanians. They contributed to destabilization of Jordan, of Lebanon, as well.

And I think you will see something similar happening with the Iraqis, because we have much larger numbers, approaching three million, and many of them already have links with militias back home, of course, because to survive in Iraq you need some militia to protect you. And there are long-established smuggling routes for weapons, for fighters, etc.

And add to that the very sensitive sectarian issue in Syria, in Jordan. The Syrian regime is a minority regime perceived by radical Sunnis to be a heretical. Syria is a majority Sunni country. The majority of the refugees are Sunni. Syria has a good relationship with a Shia-dominated Iraqi government. There have been various Islamist opposition groups who have sought to overthrow their government in Syria. Jordan, as well, has its own Islamist opposition. We're likely eventually to see, as Sunnis are pushed more and more out of Baghdad and as the militias are pushed into the Anbar Province, that they might link up with Islamist groups in Syria, in Jordan, in Lebanon.

So I think it's wrong to think of Iraq as its own conflict. There's now a regional conflict. It's going to involve Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon. And I think we'll see governments being overthrown - for example, the one in Jordan. What we already see are fighters being exported, for example, the fighting in Lebanon the past few months. Many Iraq veterans have sought shelter in Lebanon among - in the Palestinian refugee camps, for example.

Amy Goodman: Talk about that, what's happening right now in Lebanon with Fatah al-Islam, with, in particular, the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp.

Nir Rosen: Well, Nahr al-Bared refugee camp doesn't exist anymore. It's been wiped out completely. The Lebanese army destroyed, flattened completely a refugee camp that at once housed 40,000 people. And they've now been made homeless. They left with only their shirts on their backs, basically.

What provoked this conflict was the existence of a group called Fatah al-Islam that declared itself in late 2006. They sort of piggybacked onto a pre-existing Palestinian group, a secular one called Fatah Intifada, taking advantage of, I think, benign neglect on the part of Syria and a very welcoming environment in northern Lebanon, where you have Salafis already work in close reliance with the Sunni-dominated Future Movement. And it seems like, as Sy Hersh explained in his article, the Future Movement, led by Saad Hariri, hoped that they could take advantage of the presence of the Salafis and jihadists in the camps and elsewhere to be sort of the Sunni militia against Hezbollah. But these groups weren't interested in fighting Shias. They were more interested in fighting Israel, the US, the crusaders, and establishing their own sort of Islamic emirate in the north. And as a result, there's been a very brutal and bloody clash with the Lebanese army and security forces.

They took advantage of the fact that the Palestinian camps in Lebanon are basically autonomous in terms of security. The Lebanese security forces weren't allowed, thanks to an agreement several decades ago, to actually enter the camps. And some of these camps, Ayn al-Hilwah, south of Beirut, have long been exporting jihadists to Iraq. What happened about a year ago was that the flow was reversed, and fighters from Iraq began seeking shelter elsewhere. They can't go to Jordan. They can't go to Syria. Lebanon was a much more permissive environment - no strong state, no strong security forces, Palestinian camps already sort of lawless, and a place where Lebanese seek shelter if they're absconding from the law, and a very friendly environment for Salafis in the Sunni areas because of the increased sectarian tensions in Lebanon.

People in Lebanon are viewing their conflict, especially Sunnis, within a context of the Iraq conflict. They believe in these conspiracy theories about the Shia "Crescent," about a Shia program, and Iran is exporting its revolution in the region. These are baseless sort of fears, but they're very strong fears held on the part of Sunnis. And as a result, the Sunnis of Lebanon are looking for their own militia to protect them from what they believe is Hezbollah's attempts to control the country.

Amy Goodman: What about the comments of Seymour Hersh, the investigation that he did, specifically saying that the US and Saudi governments are covertly backing militant Sunni groups like Fatah al-Islam as part of an overarching foreign policy to go after Iran and the Shia influence?

Nir Rosen: Well, Sy Hersh and I deal with sort of different levels, in the sense that most of my work was on the ground in refugee camps and in poor neighborhoods of Lebanon. So I dealt with the actual militias, not on the geopolitical level with the people who might be sponsoring them. So I found no evidence that the US government or Saudi Arabia were directly involved.

What is clear, however, is that jihadist groups in Lebanon are being sponsored and assisted by various Salafis in Lebanon who are very close with the Lebanese government and who support the March 14 Movement. And money is coming in certainly from Saudi Arabia from rich patrons. They are well armed - very new weapons compared to the Lebanese army - laptops, very well fed. And some of their apartments are rented by people who are closely associated with the Lebanese government.

But given where I was, there was no direct US involvement, as far as I can see. It would be very foolish for the US to support these jihadists. I think the Lebanese government and its allies found that it was also very dangerous for them, that they cannot control these people and use them for their own ends. We tried this ourselves in Afghanistan and are still suffering as a result of that. And these groups in Lebanon, I think, actually ended up taking advantage of the Lebanese authorities, instead of the other way around.

Amy Goodman: We're talking to Nir Rosen, independent journalist, author of In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq. He has just come out of Lebanon, has been looking at refugees, the mass crisis. I mean, you're putting the numbers now at, well, over five million numbers, with those refugees inside Iraq, the internally displaced, around two million, and then you're saying three million outside.

Nir Rosen: I think almost three million inside. I mean, the rate is increasing so fast every day, every month 30,000 to 50,000 are leaving their homes.

Amy Goodman: Where does the UN come into this and refugee camps in these countries?

Nir Rosen: Well, until now, there haven't really been refugee camps outside of Iraq. Iraqis have sort of blended into the urban environments of Amman, Jordan; Damascus, Syria; Beirut; Cairo. These are urban people who have fled, and they prefer an urban environment. There's a taboo about refugee camps. And the governments have not set up refugee camps either. So this makes it harder to help them and harder to track them, as well.

Within Iraq, there have been some camps set up for the internally displaced in southern Iraq. But about 150,000 to 200,000 Iraqis have fled to northern Iraq - Irbil, Sulaymaniyah, Dahuk - and they have also just rented homes in urban areas in towns.

The UN was very slow to respond, in part because of a lack of funding, in part because the UN was still in a sort of intellectual mode where they were assisting the Iraqi government. There was a reconstruction effort, stability effort, development, not dealing with the humanitarian crisis, because usually it's the other way around. You solve the refugee crisis first, and then you initiate the reconstruction, development, etc. Iraq was unusual in that sense, in that what initially was a reconstruction effort became a humanitarian crisis. And the UN was reluctant to admit it, that there was a humanitarian crisis, because that would imply the Iraqi government, which is assisting, is a failure. And, in fact, the Iraqi government is a party in the conflict and is one of the main actors in prolonging this conflict, to the extent that we can even say that there isn't an Iraqi government.

So the UN has been very late, in part because it depends on funders. You can't blame the UN. The UN is basically America and the donor countries. But there was this lazy intellectual process of recognizing that Iraq is a failure. And, of course, the UN was traumatized by, first, the failure to prevent the war in Iraq - and it's been seeking a mission ever since then - and, of course, the bombing in August 2003, which basically expelled the UN from Iraq.

Amy Goodman: What do you make of the Syrian prime minister Monday saying that his country will help rebuild Iraq, help Iraqis rebuild Iraq?

Nir Rosen: I think it's optimistic. I don't think anybody can really help Iraq at this point. And Syria lacks the funds. We in the West have been focused too much on Iran and Syria, as if they are the solution to Iraq, or the problem or the cause of the problem, whereas, in fact, this is mainly an internal conflict. And there isn't much that a country like Syria can do. The US, with all of its troops and all of its money, has failed completely.

Syria does have the advantage of having a good relationship with all the parties in the conflict. It's been very good at maintaining relations with Sunni resistance groups, with Shia radicals like Muqtada al-Sadr. Maliki, the prime minister, actually lived in Syria for a long time. President Talabani was in exile in Syria when he established his own political party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. So Syria does have a very good relationship, and it could be the key to bringing some of the Iraqi groups together. But at this time, I think there's actually no hope.

Amy Goodman: Nir, what about Iran? What about the whole Bush-Cheney push to attack Iran? And what is the significance of this? And how does it play out in these countries?

Nir Rosen: Well, I think we're dealing with a mentality on the part of our administration that nobody else is going to have the guts to take on Iran in the future, the next president, so if we don't do it, who's going to do it, and we'll be vindicated in the future just like Reagan was vindicated, allegedly, for bringing down the Soviet Union. So they have this long-term view of how history will treat them, and if they don't take down Iran, nobody else will, which is probably the case, although they can't take down Iran, either.

Iran is not Iraq. You can bomb it, but I think you'd only basically strengthen the support for the government, as always happens when you bomb a country. We saw this in Yugoslavia and elsewhere. And they've been blaming Iran for everything under the sun lately, for supporting Sunni radicals in Iraq or attacking the Iranian-backed leadership in Iraq, for attacking - and then they blame Iran for supporting the Taliban, who, of course, were bitter enemies of Iran. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Amy Goodman: And interestingly, the president of Afghanistan, Karzai, coming in and saying Iran is a partner and then receiving Ahmadinejad in Afghanistan, and President Bush at the same time attacking Iran.

Nir Rosen: Well, the countries in the region know that they can't lose Iran as an ally and as a neighbor. The US can easily alienate Iran, without suffering too many consequences. But Iraq does depend on Iran as a friendly neighbor, likewise Afghanistan. And if you were to antagonize Iran, of course, the consequences would be much more severe than antagonizing Iraq, which had a very weak army.

Amy Goodman: What are the politics? Why is Bush doing this, escalating the rhetoric?

Nir Rosen: Well, there is a general aversion on the part of the US administration towards any Islamist movement or government. This is why they brought down the Islamic Courts in Somalia, this is why they overthrew the Hamas democratically elected government in Palestine, this is why they refuse to deal with Hezbollah, an overwhelmingly popular movement in Lebanon: I think a fear of any successful Islamist model. And then, we've had a long animosity with Iran. We haven't forgiven them, I think, for the hostage crisis a few decades ago.

And I think we're now in search of a new enemy. When I wrote my book, I was doing research on LexisNexis, and I found that in May 2003 universally the US press was talking about when do we got to war against Iran? Iraq has been such a success. We brought down Saddam's regime so quickly. So now, Iran is next, obviously. And everybody was behind this, of course.

Amy Goodman: The Lieberman-sponsored resolution condemning Iranians fighting in Iraq for killing US soldiers, but then the report coming out that there are more Saudi fighters in Iraq than Iranian fighters.

Nir Rosen: It's difficult for me to understand why the Shias would need Iranian fighters. Iraqis are very good at killing, as we've seen. Shias were in the army. They were the majority of the army. Shias were in the Fedayeen Saddam, as well. And they've been very eager to fight the Americans - the Mahdi Army, other groups.

So Iran might be sponsoring various Shia militias, of course. It has its own proxies in Iraq: the Supreme Council, one of our main allies, the Dawa Party, one of our main allies, the Sadr Movement to a lesser extent, and, of course, some of the Kurdish parties, as well. Iran has a very good relationship with various Iraqi movements.

I am skeptical that they are actually sending fighters to Iraq. I just don't see the need for it. Iraqis are very well trained. They might be sending some weapons. But then again, there's also a black market in weapons, so just because a weapon is Iranian doesn't mean that it's necessarily been sold by Iran. Various groups use American weapons. It doesn't mean that the Americans are arming people, although, in fact, we are arming militias.

I mean, it's very hypocritical for the US to complain about any foreign intervention in Iraq in the first place, given that we occupied Iraq and destroyed it, and now we're arming Sunni militias in various neighborhoods, making the situation much worse. In various Sunni neighborhoods of Baghdad, we're creating our own militias. We are the ones who armed the police and the army, who are, in effect, controlled by a sectarian Shia militia. So it's absurd to take the American accusations seriously, except that they are intending to go to war against Iran.

Amy Goodman: On that issue, Nir Rosen, Time magazine ran an article this week called "Prelude to an Attack on Iran." It ends with a quote from an unnamed US official: "There will be an attack on Iran," he said.

Nir Rosen: I mean, this is just such a foolish game to play. American soldiers are basically held hostage in Iraq. They can't leave, and they can't stay. And Iran has the ability to make things much more difficult for the Americans. Until now, while we are fighting Shia militias, Shia resistance groups, it's not a sort of universal uprising on the part of Shias. We did face that a little bit in 2004, and it was very difficult for the Americans. But Iran does have the ability to mobilize Iraqi Shias, of course, against the Americans and, if it wanted to, to sponsor other groups that might want to fight the Americans.

Iran, until now, I think, has been the primary beneficiary of the US war in Iraq, in that their people are the ones in charge, and their main enemy, or one of them after Israel, Saddam Hussein, was removed. So we could have seen Iran as an ally in all this, and I think that we could have seen them as an ally in Afghanistan, as well. But we've chosen to invent an enemy where we didn't have one before.

Amy Goodman: David Petraeus, the general, this report that's coming out, along with the Ambassador Crocker, the second week of September, it's now reported, they may well be reporting on September 11th to Congress. What is the significance of this?

Nir Rosen: I don't think it's significant. What can they say that would make any impact one way or the other?

Amy Goodman: What do you think has to happen?

Nir Rosen: In Iraq? It's too late for anything good to happen in Iraq, unfortunately. If the Americans stay, we'll see a continuation of this civil war, of ethnic cleansing, until all of Iraq is sort of ethnically - or sectarian, homogenous zones, which is basically what's already happened. If the Americans leave, then you'll see greater intervention of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, supporting their own militias in Iraq and being drawn into battle.

But no matter what, Iraq doesn't exist anymore. Baghdad will never be in the hands of Sunnis again. Baghdad will be controlled by Shia militias. They've been cleansing all the Sunnis from Baghdad. So Sunnis are basically being pushed out of Iraq, period. They can go to the Anbar Province, which isn't a very friendly place. I think you'll see that there won't be any more elections in Iraq. Maliki is the last prime minister Iraq will have for a long time. There is neither the infrastructure for elections anymore, nor the desire to have them, nor the ability of Iraqi groups to cooperate anymore. So what you'll see is basically Mogadishu in Iraq: various warlords controlling small neighborhoods. And those who are by major resources, such as oil installations, obviously will be foreign-sponsored warlords who will be able to cut deals with us, the Chinese. But Iraq is destroyed, and I think we'll see that this will spread throughout the region, and this will destabilize Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, as well.

Amy Goodman: Before we wrap up, I want to talk about the Occupied Territories, about Gaza and the West Bank, particularly Gaza now, the news out, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza enduring a fifth day of power blackouts. The outages began after the European Union suspended its funding of Gaza's main electricity plant. What's happening now?

Nir Rosen: Well, Hamas was elected democratically in elections that the US President Jimmy Carter and the international community recognized were free and fair. We, of course, were very upset that Hamas won the elections, and we imposed sanctions on them and tried to overthrow the government in a soft coup, by basically strangling the economy. And that didn't work. As a result, we increased the heat on Hamas. We began training and sponsoring Fatah militias, with the cooperation of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and, of course, Israel, and attempted to overthrow the Hamas democratically elected government. And that, too, failed. And Hamas actually managed to eject the Fatah militias from Gaza.

And, of course, now, thanks to US pressure, the Europeans, who would like to deal with Hamas, who have a much more realistic view of the Middle East, are unable to do so. And, I mean, all you're doing is actually radicalizing this group. This is one of the more moderate Islamist groups in the region, in fact, and they were willing to negotiate with Israel. But what you do when you allow a group like this to take part in elections, and then when they win you try to overthrow them, is merely radicalize them and encourage the Salafis, those with leanings towards al-Qaeda.

Amy Goodman: Explain what you mean by Salafis.

Nir Rosen: Salafis, like the Wahabis of Saudi Arabia, a much stricter interpretation of Islam, generally they reject any innovations and any form of modernity, any deviations from what they perceive as a true Islam, whether Shiism or influences of modernity, of reform. And they often, as well, believe that if you don't follow their line of thinking, you're a heretic, you're an infidel, and you can be killed. Zarqawi was a Salafi, for example.

And these movements are not very strong in Palestine yet. But what we're doing is taking a moderate group like Hamas and actually encouraging them to be more radical, telling them that negotiations, politics, elections won't work, all you have is violence. It is such a foolish process, because you can't push them into the sea, which is what Israel would like to do, of course. But if you keep them in this prison, which is Gaza, and you bomb them every day, which is what Israel is doing, and they've killed - since Israel withdrew from Gaza, they've killed over 150 children and hundreds of civilians. So it's not exactly withdrawal in the first place.

Amy Goodman: What do you think needs to happen there?

Nir Rosen: What needs to happen at this point is a one-state solution, where Palestinian refugees are allowed to go back to their homes, where Israel is a state for Jews and non-Jews alike, a state for its citizens. And this one-state solution is inevitable. I think the choice that Israeli Jews have is whether they accept it peacefully, following the model in South Africa, or do they wait a few decades and have to deal with a much more violent uprising on the part of the Arab Israeli population and the population in the West Bank and Gaza? But I think, one way or the other, it's inevitable that Israel can't exist as a Jewish state that doesn't give equal rights to its non-Jewish Arab citizens.

Amy Goodman: Nir Rosen, I want to thank you very much for being with us. Nir Rosen, independent journalist, his book is called "In the Belly of the Green Bird: The Triumph of the Martyrs in Iraq." He is just back from Beirut, Lebanon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mark Glenn:(May 2007): Iraq: US, UK & Israel driving ethnic conflict and civil war

Mark Glenn's article charges that that the U.S. and the UK in coordination with the Israeli Mossad have been responsible for lubricating if not forcing civil war and ethnic conflict on post Saddam Iraq.

While the article doesn’t claim definitive documentation, its argument is plausible, fits with the observable data and adds to other evidence that the coalition forces have been fighting a dirty war from the beginning of the occupation. See Ronald Bleier: "The Bush-Cheney Regime and U.S. Middle East Policy: Radical Nihilists Driving Permanent War."


Things Not What They Appear in Iraq
By Mark Glenn

American Free Press, May 18, 2007

Disturbing new revelations indicate that at least some of the so-called ''terrorist" activity in Iraq is being deliberately orchestrated by those working to further the Israeli agenda in the Middle East, specifically by Israel's Mossad and the CIA..

In a recent article appearing in the online journal, a former Iraqi military official claims that over several years he took part in U.S.-ordered assassinations and bomb attacks targeting Iraqi civilians. According to his testimony the reason for these attacks was to foment sectarian and religious hatred that would eventually lead to the situation as it exists in Iraq today, which is civil war.

The 'individual refused to be identified by name, as he has since fled from the Americans to an area where he hopes not to be found. According to his testimony, he was a soldier in the Iraqi army during the first Gulf war and afterwards went to Saudi Arabia seeking asylum. It was in Saudi Arabia that the Americans recruited him. He was then taken to America where he received military training, courses in English and instruction in other skills, such as assassinations.

During the 2003 invasion and subsequent war, he was brought back to Iraq for-the purpose of carrying out specific tasks assigned him by U.S. intelligence agencies. In particular, he was supposed to "spread chaos in the ranks of the Iraqi army" through the use of rumors and. disinformation. According to him, this operation in psychological warfare was one of the reasons for the rapid collapse of the Iraqi forces.

Later, his skills as an assassin and terrorist were brought to bear. He and his team were provided with names, pictures and maps of the daily movements of persons whose deaths were necessary to plunge Iraq into civil war. Sometimes the target was a Shiite, sometimes a Sunni. Mistakes were not tolerated, and those who failed in their mission were executed.

The former collaborator said that the Americans have a unit for what he called “dirty jobs.” That unit is a mix of Iraqis, Americans and other foreigners whose identity he did not specify. This unit specializes in planting bombs in cars, neighborhoods and markets. According to him, the most common way of doing this was with bombs that were placed inside cars as they are being searched at 'checkpoints’ without the driver knowing about it or during interrogations.

"After someone is summoned to one of the U.S. bases, a bomb is placed in his car and he is asked to drive to a police station or a market for some purpose and there his car is blown up," he said.

This testimony is consistent with other reports in both mainstream, and independent media that have alleged similar circumstances. In a story run by several mainstream news agencies including the BBC, in September 2005 two British soldiers of the SAS branch (special forces) were arrested after firing their automatic weapons into a group of Iraqi policemen. The Iraqis found in their car explosives, detonators, Arab clothing and wigs for, disguise. After the two were arrested, the British military - supposed to be aligned with the Iraqi police forces-staged a dramatic "rescue" that involved busting down the walls of the prison in which the two were being held.

In another case reported by Iraqi physicist and writer Imad Khadduri, an Iraqi man had his license confiscated at an American checkpoint and. was told to report to an American military camp near Baghdad airport in order to retrieve it. After being questioned for half an hour, he was told that in order to get his license back he would have to drive to another police station across town. Upon beginning his trek, he noticed two things: His cat felt like it was loaded down with something and there was a low flying helicopter hovering overhead everywhere he went. After stopping the car and doing a quick inspection he found that his trunk was full of explosives, presumably put there by the Americans while he was being interrogated in the building nearby.

Another similar scenario reported by Khadduri tells of a man driving an explosives-laden car headed for the police station only to have his car break down. Upon taking it to a mechanic, he found that it was a bomb on wheels.

As the world watches the daily carnage taking place in Iraq with religious and ethnic groups at each other's throats, what must be remembered is that none of this

should be a surprise. Prior to the first Gulf war in 1991, pro-Israeli think tanks and policy papers, such as those by the Project For A New American Century, spoke candidly about destroying Iraq through civil war so that it could be broken up into smaller, easier-to-manage states with leaders amenable to the agenda of Israel.

With this latest revelation it is ever more clear that not all is as it seems in Iraq, but then, why should it? After all, it is the motto of Israel's intelligence service Mossad that "By way of deception, thou shalt do war."

Mark Glenn is a writer and the founder of

Saturday, August 11, 2007

NYT: Iraqis driven to poverty and ruin in Jordan

I wonder if it's becoming clearer that the destruction of Iraq (and the looting of the US Treasury) is the intended purpose of the US invasion and occupation. In the section below, the NYT recognizes that the key portion of the Iraqi population,the middle class, is targeted, just as they are in the US. It's clear that the middle class is the critical enemy of the endless war agenda of Bush-Cheney and the neocons. The upper classes in the US (are there any uppper class people left in Iraq?) see Bush and Cheney as allies in their struggle against democracy and freedom, while the desperate lower classes here and there are collateral damage.



Exerpt from the article below:

It is a painful new reality for an important part of Iraq’s population, the educated, secular center. They refused to take sides as the violence got worse. And their suffering augurs something larger for Iraq. The poorer they grow and the longer they stay away, the more crippled Iraq becomes. “The binding section of the population does not exist anymore,” said Ayad Allawi, a former prime minister, who now spends most of his time in Jordan. “The middle class has left Iraq.”

The New York Times
August 10, 2007
Well-Off Fleeing Iraq Find Poverty and Pain in Jordan
AMMAN, Jordan, Aug. 9 — After her husband’s killing, Amira sold a generation of her family’s belongings, packed up her children and left behind their large house in Baghdad, with its gardener and maid.

Now, a year later, she is making meat fritters for money in this sand-colored capital, unable to afford glasses for her son, and in the quiet moments, choking on the bitterness of loss.

The war has scattered hundreds of thousands of Iraqis throughout the Middle East, but those who came here tended to be the most affluent. Most lacked residency status and were not allowed to work, but as former bank managers, social club directors and business owners, they thought their money would last.

It has not. Rents are high, schools cost money, and under-the-table jobs pay little. A survey of 100 Iraqi families found that 64 were surviving by selling their assets.

Now, as a new school year begins, many Iraqis here say they can no longer afford some of life’s basic requirements — education for their children and hospital visits for their families. Teeth are pulled instead of filled. Shampoo is no longer on the grocery list.

“My savings are finished,” said Amira, who is 50. “My kids won’t be in school this year.”

It is a painful new reality for an important part of Iraq’s population, the educated, secular center. They refused to take sides as the violence got worse. And their suffering augurs something larger for Iraq. The poorer they grow and the longer they stay away, the more crippled Iraq becomes. “The binding section of the population does not exist anymore,” said Ayad Allawi, a former prime minister, who now spends most of his time in Jordan. “The middle class has left Iraq.”

Iraqis streamed into Jordan and Syria in 2005 and 2006, with the professional class picking Jordan. The signs on the second floor of Al Essra Hospital, a private hospital in central Amman, display only Iraqi doctors’ names. The Jordanians have been relatively lenient, registering doctors in their medical unions and allowing the vast majority to live in their country without residency permits.

But by early this year Iraqis were weighing so heavily on this small country that the Jordanian authorities sharply reduced the numbers they accepted. (Rejections became so common that Iraqi Airways now offers a 30 percent discount to returning passengers who have been turned away.)

Many thought Jordan would be a stop on the way to Australia or Sweden, or a brief vacation from Baghdad’s inferno. But as the months wore on, it became clear that most countries were closed to Iraqis, the war was only getting worse, and families were left stranded, burning through their savings. The Australian authorities twice rejected Hassan Jabr, a Spanish teacher who left his elegant home and garden in Baghdad after his 12-year-old son was kidnapped and killed last year. Now, with his savings gone, badly dented before he left by a $10,000 ransom that he paid to try to get his son back, he is living off his family’s food ration cards that his mother sells in Baghdad.

“We saw reality in Amman and we were shocked,” he said, sitting in his spare one-room apartment in eastern Amman. “We planned for two months.”

Iraqis here have never been formally counted. A survey by a Norwegian group, Fafo, which has not been made public, is expected to report there are less than half of the 750,000 commonly estimated to be in Jordan.

But that is still 10 percent of the population of two million in Amman, where most of the Iraqis live, and aid agencies have stepped up activities.

This month the Jordanian government, under pressure from the United States, agreed to let Iraqi children without residency attend public schools, a right not extended to any other foreigners.

But the schools are crowded and the government has not yet prepared for the change, arguing that it should receive aid to accommodate it. United Nations agencies are asking for extra money to expand, at first by adding new shifts to existing schools.

Save the Children, a humanitarian group, says it has referred 4,000 Iraqis to schools recently, but the referrals do not guarantee acceptance. Amira went to the public school in her neighborhood, but was told that there was no room for her children. Private school cost her $5,000 last year, a third of her savings.

As the middle class becomes poor, new patterns form. Zeinab Majid’s okra stew no longer has meat. She buys her vegetables just before sunset, when the prices are the lowest. A stranger offered her the use of a washing machine, a gesture that nearly brought her to tears.

She came to Amman last September after her husband, a painter, had received two threats, and the studio he used had been bombed. They sold everything. Now her husband, a quiet man in small round glasses, spends his days jabbing paint onto small canvases while their boys, ages 7 and 4, watch cartoons on an old TV. “There are days when I’m penniless completely,” she said, serving juice to visitors. A Catholic relief organization, Caritas, helped pay for first grade for her older son last year.

The pain of the war closes people, and recent arrivals tend to live isolated lives, dividing the community into small, sad pockets. Amira moves mechanically through her days like a stunned survivor of a shipwreck. Tears come easily when she remembers the belongings she sold, the photo albums she did not take. Her husband, a Sunni, died five days after men in police uniforms took him from his shop last year. His face was bruised and his body broken. It was 22 years to the day since they first met.

“They were after the happiness,” she said, her face wet with tears. “They wanted to kill the happiness.”

The United States promised to increase the number of Iraqi refugees it takes, and the United Nations has referred 9,100 Iraqis to it this year. But so far fewer than 200 have arrived, according to the State Department. Several hundred more are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

Running out of money is frightening, and some families choose to move to Syria, where things are cheaper, or, in some cases, back to Baghdad and the war.

Aseel Qaradaghi, a 25-year-old software engineer, was pregnant when she brought her small daughter here last summer after receiving threats from Islamic extremists. Her husband, a translator for a South African security firm, stayed in Baghdad to earn money. But when he did not call on her birthday, she knew something was wrong, and only after pressing his friends on a crackling phone line did she learn that he had been kidnapped.

Now, eight months later, she is earning a small wage at a nursery, but without his salary it is not enough, and she has applied for refugee status. If she is rejected, she will have to return to Baghdad. She does not know her husband’s fate, but worries that it will be the same as her brother’s, killed for working as a translator for the American military.

“I cannot allow myself to think about him,” she said, bouncing her baby boy on her lap. “The moment I start to allow feelings, my life will stop. I’m afraid of the moment that I collapse.”

Last week, Amira had a guest. Nada, a mother of three, whose husband worked as a deputy director of a prestigious social club in Baghdad, was preparing to move to Syria. The thousands of dollars from the sale of several cars and a house are almost gone.

“My daughter was second in her class,” Amira said, her words coming hard and fast. “I traveled all over the world. I want to tell the Americans what has happened to us.”

Yusra al-Hakeem contributed reporting.

Friday, August 10, 2007

NYT: Destroying Afghanistan: Brits criticize US Air Attacks in Afghanistan

At the very end of this front page article, the Times quotes an Afghan telling it like it is. They are here to destroy Afghanistan.
“So now we have understood that the Americans are a curse on us, and they are here just to destroy Afghanistan. They can tell the difference between men and women, children and animals, but they are just killing everyone.”

I suppose that the Times thought that such a quote is so outlandish that they didn't need to cut it.
Let's assume that the Afghani is correct. Why would Bush and Cheney want to destroy Afghanistan? Why would they want to return women and the people of Afganistan to the effective rule of the Taliban? And who is supporting the Taliban? It's no secret. It's the Pakistani ISI. And who gives the ISI its marching orders? Yes, that's right. It's the CIA.
Once again, why would the US want to ensure that Afghanistan remains in the dark ages with a maximum of suffering?
Can we make any connections between what's going on there with what the US has overseen in Iraq since 2003?
Is it oil? Is it Imperialism? Is it Empire? Or is it some darker need to destroy, create chaos and suffering and endless war?

The New York Times
August 9, 2007
British Criticize Air Attacks in Afghan Region

SANGIN, Afghanistan — A senior British commander in southern Afghanistan said in recent weeks that he had asked that American Special Forces leave his area of operations because the high level of civilian casualties they had caused was making it difficult to win over local people.

Other British officers here in Helmand Province, speaking on condition of anonymity, criticized American Special Forces for causing most of the civilian deaths and injuries in their area. They also expressed concerns that the Americans’ extensive use of air power was turning the people against the foreign presence as British forces were trying to solidify recent gains against the Taliban.

An American military spokesman denied that the request for American forces to leave was ever made, either formally or otherwise, or that they had caused most of the casualties. But the episode underlines differences of opinion among NATO and American military forces in Afghanistan on tactics for fighting Taliban insurgents, and concerns among soldiers about the consequences of the high level of civilians being killed in fighting.

A precise tally of civilian deaths is difficult to pin down, but one reliable count puts the number killed in Helmand this year at close to 300 civilians, the vast majority of them caused by foreign and Afghan forces, rather than the Taliban.

“Everyone is concerned about civilian casualties,” the senior British commander said. “Of course it is counterproductive if civilians get injured, but we’ve got to pick up the pack of cards that we have got. Other people have been operating in our area before us.”

After months of heavy fighting that began in early 2006, the British commanders say they are finally making headway in securing important areas such as this town, and are now in the difficult position of trying to win back support among local people whose lives have been devastated by aerial bombing.

American Special Forces have been active in Helmand since United States forces first entered Afghanistan in late 2001, and for several years they maintained a small base outside the town of Gereshk. But the foreign troop presence was never more than a few hundred men.

British forces arrived in the spring of 2006 and now have command of the province with some 6,000 troops deployed, with small units of Estonians and Danish troops. American Special Forces have continued to assist in fighting insurgents, operating as advisers to Afghan national security forces.

It is these American teams that are coming under criticism. They tend to work in small units that rely heavily on air cover because they are vulnerable to large groups of insurgents. Such Special Forces teams have often called in airstrikes in Helmand and other places where civilians have subsequently been found to have suffered casualties.

In just two cases, airstrikes killed 31 nomads west of Kandahar in November last year and another 57 villagers, half of them women and children, in western Afghanistan in April. In both cases, United States Special Forces were responsible for calling in the airstrikes.

The chief British press officer in Helmand, Col. Charles Mayo, defended the American Special Forces and said they were essential to NATO’s efforts to clear out heavily entrenched Taliban insurgents.

An American military spokesman said United States Special Forces would continue to operate in Helmand for the foreseeable future. He denied that their tactics had caused greater civilian deaths and blamed the Taliban for fighting from civilian compounds.

“U.S. Special Forces have a tremendous reputation not only in combat operations but also in training and advising the Afghan National Security Forces,” Lt. Col. David Accetta, a spokesman for American forces in Afghanistan, said in an e-mail response from Bagram air base.

United States Special Forces had also provided development and medical assistance, which, with the combat missions, “can be said to have ‘turned the tide’ in Helmand,” he said.

But the senior British commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity during an interview in July, said that in Sangin, which has been calm recently, there was no longer a need for United States Special Forces. “There aren’t large bodies of Taliban to fight anymore; we are dealing with small groups and we are trying to kick-start reconstruction and development,” he said.

Orders had just come down from the NATO force’s headquarters in Kabul, which is led by Gen. Dan K. McNeill of the United States, re-emphasizing the need to avoid civilian deaths, he said.

“The phrase is: ‘It may be legal but is it appropriate?’ No one is saying it is illegal to use air power, but is there any other way of doing it if there is a risk of collateral damage?” he said.

For months, frequent reports of civilian casualties have trickled out of Helmand, scene of some of the fiercest battles of the recent war. But there has rarely been independent confirmation of the reports because the province has been too dangerous for journalists to visit.

Yet there is no doubt there have been civilian casualties, and British and Afghan officials acknowledged that they had seen some of them.

Villagers brought the bodies of 21 civilians killed in airstrikes May 8 on the village of Sarwan Qala to show the authorities in Sangin, they said. United States Special Forces were battling the Taliban on that occasion and called in the strikes, the United States military said in a statement at the time.

Three days later the nearby village of Sra Ghar was hit. British soldiers at a base called Robinson just south of Sangin said they had received 18 civilians around that time who were wounded in an American operation and flew them out to NATO hospitals for treatment.

On a rare visit to Helmand in mid-July, a journalist encountered children who were still suffering wounds sustained in that bombing raid or another around that time. Their father, Mohammadullah, brought them to the gate of the British Army base seeking help.

His son, Bashir Ahmed, 2, listless and stick thin, seemed close to death. The boy and his sister Muzlifa, 7, bore terrible shrapnel scars. NATO doctors had removed shrapnel from the boy’s abdomen at the time of the raid and had warned his father that he might not survive, but two months later he was still hanging on.

The father said the bombing raid killed six members of the family and wounded five. His wife lost an arm, and the children’s grandmother was killed, he said.

Altogether, he said, 20 people were killed in the airstrikes after Taliban fighters came through the village. He figured that the planes had bombed them mistakenly, because the Taliban were fighting United States forces well below the village at the time.

He said that he opposed the Taliban, but that after the bombing raid the villagers were so angered that most of the men who survived went off to join the insurgents. Whether people would support the foreign troops “depends on the behavior of ISAF,” Mohammadullah said, referring to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. “If they treat the civilians well, they will win.”

It is in fact the possibility of the population turning against them, or the unpopularity of the campaign back home, that most concerns the military, one NATO military official said. “We know we can beat the Taliban on the ground,” the official said. “The issue is the population.”

A civilian NATO from Kabul added, “The problem is Afghans are waking up and thinking: ‘Why are they doing this?’ ”

Maj. Dominic Biddick, commander of a company of British soldiers in Sangin, is making a big effort to ease the anger and pain as his men patrol the villages. He has a $5,000 good-will fund and hands out cash to victims he comes across, like the farmer whose two sons were shot in the fields during a recent operation. And he has $10,000 a month to spend on community assistance programs. “If you are genuinely caring, you can win friends,” he said.

Capt. Catherine Fisher, a civil affairs officer in Sangin, said that over six weeks ending in July she had received requests from 75 families who had lost relatives or property in recent fighting.

But while some of the victims and local people blame the Taliban for bringing violence to Helmand, hostility and bitterness toward the foreign forces remains.

“The Americans are killing and destroying a village just in pursuit of one person,” said Mahmadullah, 24, referring to Osama bin Laden. “So now we have understood that the Americans are a curse on us, and they are here just to destroy Afghanistan. They can tell the difference between men and women, children and animals, but they are just killing everyone.”

A trained mullah from the village of Kutaizi, half an hour from Sangin, Mahmadullah reacted with sarcasm to the idea that reconstruction and assistance could change the minds of the people.

“First they kill me, and then they rebuild my house?” he said. “What is the point when I am dead and my son is dead? This is not of any worth to us.”

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Ronald Bleier: The Israel Lobby, the role of the grassroots and the radical Bush- Cheney Regime

My article, “The Israel Lobby, the Grassroots and the Radical Bush-Cheney Regime,” is available at:

My article is a revised version of a talk that I gave at a conference on U.S. Policy in the Middle East at LaGuardia Community College on May 10, 2007.

My review of some of the details of the power of the Lobby to force the U.S. to adopt policies at variance with its own interests in peace and stability in the Middle East and elsewhere will be familiar to many readers. In addition, I point to the role of the grassroots supporters of the Lobby who play an all too evident, although as yet minimally analyzed, role in effectively supporting Israel’s largely unrestrained militaristic and expansionist policies.

Here’s an excerpt from my paper on the role of the grassroots

But only a tiny fraction of these grassroots pro-Israeli people, are Lobby activists. It’s the Lobby that “actively work[s] to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israeli direction.” A tiny number of activists directing Lobby policy would matter less if the few reflected the many. But often, on key issues like the war against Iraq, these Lobby activists represent the extreme right wing of the Israeli ruling elite and not the great majority of the rank and file. For example, most of my secular friends and family are passionately opposed to George W. Bush and his policies, especially the Iraq war. At the same time, they are strong supporters of Israel. If you were to ask some of these people, as I have done, if they see a connection between their support for Israel and Bush’s ability to pursue a war against Iraq, they would be confused. They wouldn’t understand such a question. Most express their full and unquestioning support of Israel. They don’t see Israel as an aggressive, oppressive state. They see Israel as beleaguered, attacked on all sides, especially by the media.

For example, even in the case of the entirely unprovoked and horrific Israeli war against Lebanon in 1982, the grassroots typically downplayed Israeli aggression and war crimes if they didn’t take the easier route of total denial. And lesser Israeli atrocities like Prime Minister Shimon Peres’s summer pre-election bombardment of Lebanon in 1994, or Sharon’s 2004 assassination of Hamas leader, wheelchair- bound Sheik Yassin, and a month later his successor, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, generally fly well below their radar. And to the extent Israel’s supporters are confronted with any unpleasant or critical information on Israeli policy toward the Arabs in the news, they tend reflexively to blame the media.

Thus the Lobby is empowered because most Jewish and Christian and other gentile supporters of Israel will fall into line and effectively support even the most oppressive and pitiless Israeli policies. If they are somehow made aware of some of the brutal and shocking details, they view Israeli actions as necessary for its defense. Atrocities against Muslims and Arabs are minimized, because in their worldview, “those people” aren’t humanized, and are often identified as enemies or terrorists. Similarly in any particular congressional or presidential race, supporters of Israel don’t generally see themselves voting to bolster the power of the Lobby. They vote for a politician and/or for the party they prefer. At election time, support for Israel is rarely an issue. Typically the grassroots correctly take for granted that the candidates they vote for also fully support Israel.


Heretofore, in the decades preceding the 90s, the baleful effects of Israel’s brutal polices and its role in destabilizing the international order have been relatively limited, and by and large restricted to the peoples of the Middle East, especially to the Palestinians and other Arabs, with the caveat that in order to successfully pursue its goals, Israel required and acquired sufficient control of the White House and Congress from even before the creation of the State in 1948. The Lobby’s control has become more and more sophisticated and viselike through the decades and the various U.S. administrations. But now that an extraordinarily vicious and reckless U.S. administration is in power, a perfect storm has been created that may be irrevocably moving the U.S. into –who knows? --the final catastrophe that is the logical outgrowth of the iniquitous and improbably successful substitution of the bogus “war on terror” for the previous Communist demon.

Read more:

Ronald Bleier